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Self-confessed 'Provo Princess' and teacher Anne-Marie Clements fined for posting sectarian pro-IRA tweets

By Rory Cassidy

Published 12/05/2016

Anne-Marie Clements
Anne-Marie Clements

A disgraced Catholic primary school teacher has admitted posting a series of bigoted comments on Twitter in which she badmouthed Protestants and glorified the IRA.

Self-confessed 'Provo Princess' Anne-Marie Clements appeared in the dock in Scotland to plead guilty to posting "grossly offensive" messages on the social media site.

The court heard the 25-year-old, who had more than 3,300 followers, lost her job as a Primary 7 teacher as a result of her posts, which included referring to Celtic as "Ronnie's Fenian Band", posting about "William of Orange b*******" and boasting "every day's a RA day" - in reference to the IRA.

She pleaded guilty to breaching Section 172 (1)(a) of the Communications Act 2003 by posting tweets which were "of an indecent, obscene or menacing character" and which "contained sectarian remarks and remarks and images in support of a terrorist organisation."

Clements also admitted posting "grossly offensive" comments from her home in South Lanarkshire, an unspecified address in Perth, and elsewhere.

The case marks a spectacular fall from grace for the young teacher, who used her Twitter account to post selfies with former Celtic star Anthony Stokes and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with her solicitor describing the situation as "a tragedy".

Shamefaced Clements glared at reporters covering her case yesterday and went to extraordinary lengths to avoid being photographed as she left court.

As temperatures hit 20C in a sun-soaked Paisley, Clements donned a huge green parka and pulled the hood right over her head to evade a waiting photographer.

She then ran from the building and into a waiting silver hatchback, believed to have been driven by her dad Henry, kept her hood up and cowered in the back as she was whisked away.

The disgraced teacher could not hide from the bigoted messages which she admitted to having posted on her Twitter account between November 18 and December 21 last year.

Procurator fiscal depute John Penman explained: "The essence of this is, between what amounts to a calendar month, at the addresses given in the libel, Miss Clements sent out a number of messages on this Twitter account."

The prosecutor said the tweets were spotted by a member of the public on Sunday, December 20 last year, who found them to be "extremely offensive and of a sectarian nature" and established the accused was employed as a teacher at St Mark's Primary School.

The Twitter user in question emailed the school and attached screenshots of her Tweets.

On November 18 last year, the court heard, Clements retweeted a tweet from another user which read: "Before we address the so called problem of refugees, what's being done about Protestants?"

Penman added: "She later posted a picture of suspected IRA personnel holding a rifle, wearing a ski mask, with the caption, 'Every day's a RA day'."

On November 26 last year - two hours before Celtic kicked off against Dutch giants Ajax in the UEFA Europa League group stage, in a game the Scottish side lost 2-1 - she wrote: "This is the one. Come on Celtic, intae these William of Orange b*******. Ronnie's Fenian Band."

As Sheriff Susan Sinclair fined Clements £600, she slammed her for her actions.

She said: "This is going to result in a complete life and career change from the one she set out not too long ago to pursue.

"The consequences have already been brought home.

"The comments you posted were wholly offensive, completely unacceptable and wholly inappropriate.

"This kind of behaviour simply won't be condoned or tolerated."

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